A disgraced former partner for the prestigious Manhattan accounting firm Citrin Cooperman was carted off to serve at least three years prison today for embezzling almost a million dollars from two of his closest friends and the estate of convicted Westchester County wife-murderer Werner Lippe.
The $50,000 Matthew Weber admittedly stole from the Lippe estate while managing its account had been intended for the two surviving Lippe children; Weber additionally pillaged the accounts of a pal he'd known since college and a businessman who lived on his block in Oceanside, LI.
Bardach knew the thieving accountant for 15 years and only found out about his missing $60,200 when the IRS "emptied out my bank account" to recover the funds, he told the judge.
The hardest hit victim was attorney Andrew Targum, who'd known Weber 30 years and trusted him with his money since 1990, losing $828,128, some of which Weber admitted taking to pay country club fees.
"The revelations of these crimes have shattered my being," Targum angrily told the judge. "He turned out to be a sociopath, a charlatan and a con artist." Targum now spends sleepless nights, he said, worrying about losing his home and providing for his wife and children.
"I still owe the money he stole from me to the government," Targum said. "It will take me and my family and my business years to recover from the damage he has caused."
Given an opportunity to speak, Weber said he'd only ever intended to "borrow" the money, and promised, "I will try 100 percent to make amends." Weber's lawyer, Kevin Kearon said, "He is deeply remorseful." Weber must serve at least three years and as long as nine if probation keeps him in that long.
Both victims have sued Weber and Citrin Cooperman to recover their money. "This was done under their umbrella, in their offices, on their computers, and through their negligence," Bardach's lawyer, Robert Georges, told reporters.
From The New York Post